Six Tuscan Poets, by Giorgio Vasari, 1544.

Six Tuscan Poets, by Giorgio Vasari, 1544. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota.


Volume V, Number 2 | spring 2012


Word Order

By Lewis H. Lapham

The Internet is blessed with undoubtedly miraculous applications, but language is not yet one of them. Technology cannot displace the primacy of words.


Word for Word

By Ben Zimmer

Peter Mark Roget’s Thesaurus was the creation of an obsessive list-maker that became a tool and a temptation for generations of writers.



Papal indulgences were brisk business for early printers, since they were single sheets and the type did not need to be reset. Between 1498 and 1500, the Benedictine monastery in Catalonia commissioned more than 200,000 indulgences from printers in the area. A total of two thousand single-sheet items survive from the whole of the fifteenth century; over one-third are indulgences.

Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands, and goes to work.

- Carl Sandburg, 1959


LQ Podcast

#56 Doris Kearns Goodwin

The Pulitzer Prize–winning historian speaks with Lewis Lapham about her latest book, The Bully Pulpit. More